Thursday, April 9, 2009

Workplaces that suck

You're contemplating your career. Along comes a job that seems glamorous, fun, and fairly well matches your skill set. But to succeed at the job, you must:

- Work nine to ten hour days, with lunch at your desk
- Work holidays, even Christmas and Thanksgiving
- Work weekends
- Know that four months out of the year you can't take time off
- Deal with constant deadlines, and produce a product EVERY DAY that makes you feel like you've run a marathon EVERY DAY
- Work any time something bad happens that allows everyone else to stay home (like the Arctic Blast ).
- Handle delicate life-and-death issues with sensitivity, as well as sensationalism


would you take the job? I am writing this from the desk i have inhabited for the past three years. (Ok, so i've moved around to different desks, but you get the picture) I am compiling this list because (if you haven't figured out from my other posts), i am more than ready to break out of television news. For a person who works behind the scenes, it is a thankless job, and then just when you've started to hit your stride, you might get let go.

I interviewed Ellen Bravo, author of "Taking on the Big Boys: Why Feminism is Good for Families, Business, and the Nation" a couple weeks ago for a show i did for Bread and Roses on KBOO.

She told me that when you're looking for a new job, you might not have the leverage to actually try to change the list of faults that i've named above. And you might not even find a good workplace in your skill set, to avoid the pitfalls named here.

But what you can do, when you feel your workplace sucks, is to find ways to make it better. Bravo encourages people to band together, whether it's as part of a union, or just a small collection of souls who want to change things in a workplace. She says finding just one other like-minded person can mean the difference between despair and total empowerment.

I am out of here in just a couple hours. It could not come sooner. I don't know, if i could have stayed, if i would have had the guts to work for change in my workplace.

But in the typical motherly fashion, i guess i will say, to those whose workplaces suck, to do as i say, not as i do, and get out there and find your like-minded co-workers who will work for change with you.

It's your life. You might as well make it as happy as you can.

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